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Iranian Admiral Downplays Calls To Close Hormuz Strait

A top Iranian admiral says Tehran will not close the strategic Strait of Hormuz as long as Iran itself continues to rely on the waterway.

Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, deputy naval commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was quoted as saying "common sense" dictates that Iran would not close the strait, through which about 40 percent of the world's oil passes.

Iranian political and military figures have repeatedly threatened to block the waterway, and Iran's parliament has been debating a bill urging the closing of the strait in response to a European Union embargo of Iranian oil.

The threats have come amid the standoff between Iran and the international community over Tehran's nuclear program.

The Islamic republic rejects allegations that the program is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP